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Need help with Condensor

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  • Mac McCaskie
    Hi folks, I m new and hope I m not bringing up a well worn topic, if so please direct me to the appropriate place. I tried to construction a sshotgun
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 29, 2005
      Hi folks, I'm new and hope I'm not bringing up a well worn topic, if so
      please direct me to the appropriate place.

      I tried to construction a sshotgun condenser, but my joints failed
      somewhere in the construction and developed leaks.

      Forward: I've soldered a lot of copper plumbing, mostly 1/2" and 3/4"
      with good results.

      Here were my steps:
      -Cut 1/4" copper plate to two 2" disks,
      -"turned" them to fit snug inside 2" copper tube
      -drilled for 1/4" tubes ( about 20 holes each end )
      -soldered 18" X 1/4 tubes into disks, with one on each end for coolant
      sticking out like tails
      -inserted and soldered inside 2" tube
      -then added elbows/reducers to entire construction.
      -tested with water pressure and got leaks.
      -I took the elbow off one end and noticed the leak between the plate and
      tube.
      -Soldered again and re-tested, this time with a leak on the other end.

      Can this be salvaged or should I give up and start coiling tube?

      Thanks is advance.

      Mac <confused as ever> M
    • Harry
      ... if so ... 3/4 ... coolant ... plate and ... end. ... You need two grades of solder. Tube-to-endplate joints need to be food grade high melting point
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 29, 2005
        --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Mac McCaskie <mccaskie@k...>
        wrote:
        > Hi folks, I'm new and hope I'm not bringing up a well worn topic,
        if so
        > please direct me to the appropriate place.
        >
        > I tried to construction a sshotgun condenser, but my joints failed
        > somewhere in the construction and developed leaks.
        >
        > Forward: I've soldered a lot of copper plumbing, mostly 1/2" and
        3/4"
        > with good results.
        >
        > Here were my steps:
        > -Cut 1/4" copper plate to two 2" disks,
        > -"turned" them to fit snug inside 2" copper tube
        > -drilled for 1/4" tubes ( about 20 holes each end )
        > -soldered 18" X 1/4 tubes into disks, with one on each end for
        coolant
        > sticking out like tails
        > -inserted and soldered inside 2" tube
        > -then added elbows/reducers to entire construction.
        > -tested with water pressure and got leaks.
        > -I took the elbow off one end and noticed the leak between the
        plate and
        > tube.
        > -Soldered again and re-tested, this time with a leak on the other
        end.
        >
        > Can this be salvaged or should I give up and start coiling tube?
        >
        > Thanks is advance.
        >
        > Mac <confused as ever> M


        You need two grades of solder.
        Tube-to-endplate joints need to be food grade high melting point
        solder, or braze, or tig weld with copper wire filler. If I'm
        reading your construction right, your elbow joints & reducers only
        contact coolant water, no? Use a soft low melting point solder for
        this. That stops the heat from melting the already soldered tube
        joints, and creating more leaks.


        Slainte!
        regards Harry
      • Mac McCaskie
        I get your meaning with the higher melting solder, will I need something better than a propane torch? The el feeds the vapor into the condenser (1/4 ) tubes,
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 29, 2005
          I get your meaning with the higher melting solder, will I need something
          better than a propane torch?

          The el feeds the vapor into the condenser (1/4") tubes, and hopefully
          the condensate out the other end and through the reducers. I used lead
          free silver bearing solder.

          Would a photo help?

          Mac

          Harry wrote:
          > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Mac McCaskie <mccaskie@k...>
          > wrote:
          > > Hi folks, I'm new and hope I'm not bringing up a well worn topic,
          > if so
          > > please direct me to the appropriate place.
          > >
          > > I tried to construction a sshotgun condenser, but my joints failed
          > > somewhere in the construction and developed leaks.
          > >
          > > Forward: I've soldered a lot of copper plumbing, mostly 1/2" and
          > 3/4"
          > > with good results.
          > >
          > > Here were my steps:
          > > -Cut 1/4" copper plate to two 2" disks,
          > > -"turned" them to fit snug inside 2" copper tube
          > > -drilled for 1/4" tubes ( about 20 holes each end )
          > > -soldered 18" X 1/4 tubes into disks, with one on each end for
          > coolant
          > > sticking out like tails
          > > -inserted and soldered inside 2" tube
          > > -then added elbows/reducers to entire construction.
          > > -tested with water pressure and got leaks.
          > > -I took the elbow off one end and noticed the leak between the
          > plate and
          > > tube.
          > > -Soldered again and re-tested, this time with a leak on the other
          > end.
          > >
          > > Can this be salvaged or should I give up and start coiling tube?
          > >
          > > Thanks is advance.
          > >
          > > Mac <confused as ever> M
          >
          >
          > You need two grades of solder.
          > Tube-to-endplate joints need to be food grade high melting point
          > solder, or braze, or tig weld with copper wire filler. If I'm
          > reading your construction right, your elbow joints & reducers only
          > contact coolant water, no? Use a soft low melting point solder for
          > this. That stops the heat from melting the already soldered tube
          > joints, and creating more leaks.
          >
          >
          > Slainte!
          > regards Harry
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
          > FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org
          >
          >
          >
          >
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        • Harry
          ... something ... hopefully ... lead ... Yes, photo by all means. I think I may have got the design configuration wrong. If you want vapour in one end and
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 29, 2005
            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Mac McCaskie <mccaskie@k...>
            wrote:
            > I get your meaning with the higher melting solder, will I need
            something
            > better than a propane torch?
            >
            > The el feeds the vapor into the condenser (1/4") tubes, and
            hopefully
            > the condensate out the other end and through the reducers. I used
            lead
            > free silver bearing solder.
            >
            > Would a photo help?
            >
            > Mac


            Yes, photo by all means. I think I may have got the design
            configuration wrong. If you want vapour in one end and condensate
            out the other through the 1/4" tubes, then theoretically ALL your
            joints will be in contact with ethanol. This could be a problem,
            but not insurmountable. Post a pic and a link to it.


            Slainte1
            regards Harry
          • Mac McCaskie
            Hopefully these will work: http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-001.jpg http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-002.jpg
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 30, 2005
              Hopefully these will work:
              http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-001.jpg
              http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-002.jpg
              http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-003.jpg

              mac


              Harry wrote:
              <snip>

              > > Would a photo help?
              > >
              > > Mac
              >
              >
              > Yes, photo by all means. I think I may have got the design
              > configuration wrong. If you want vapour in one end and condensate
              > out the other through the 1/4" tubes, then theoretically ALL your
              > joints will be in contact with ethanol. This could be a problem,
              > but not insurmountable. Post a pic and a link to it.
              >
              >
              > Slainte1
              > regards Harry
              >
            • sonum norbu
              I don t wish to appear picky but a scale would be a help. I m beginning too think that my old pot still is a little too hillbillyish and may try making a
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 30, 2005
                I don't wish to appear 'picky' but a scale would be a help. I'm beginning
                too think that my old pot still is a little too 'hillbillyish' and may
                try making a reflux still when you sort out all the problems :) On the
                other hand, I sorta like the residual flavour that the pot still gives.
                Life is full of such serious problems. lol blanikdog

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Mac McCaskie"
                To: new_distillers@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [new_distillers] Re: Need help with Condensor
                Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 06:50:15 -0500

                Hopefully these will work:
                http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-001.jpg
                http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-002.jpg
                http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-003.jpg

                mac


                Harry wrote:
                <snip>

                > > Would a photo help?
                > >
                > > Mac
                >
                >
                > Yes, photo by all means. I think I may have got the design
                > configuration wrong. If you want vapour in one end and condensate
                > out the other through the 1/4" tubes, then theoretically ALL your
                > joints will be in contact with ethanol. This could be a problem,
                > but not insurmountable. Post a pic and a link to it.
                >
                >
                > Slainte1
                > regards Harry
                >


                New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
                FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org




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              • Mac McCaskie
                sonum norbu, Go ahead and be picky, Harry, maybe these will help. This would be how it stands if it were all together. You ll notice some parts are missing.
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 30, 2005
                  sonum norbu,
                  Go ahead and be picky,

                  Harry,
                  maybe these will help. This would be how it stands if it were all
                  together. You'll notice some parts are missing. I have designed in the
                  option to rotate the condenser to point up with condensate dripping out
                  the end of the Tee instead of the reducers (reducers would be added,
                  naturall). This would give the option to make it a reflux still as well.

                  However, I'm still needing to solve the leak problems.

                  http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-004.jpg
                  http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-005.jpg
                  http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-007.jpg

                  Have I gone down the wrong path? and should I re-think how this will work?


                  Mac


                  sonum norbu wrote:
                  > I don't wish to appear 'picky' but a scale would be a help. I'm beginning
                  > too think that my old pot still is a little too 'hillbillyish' and may
                  > try making a reflux still when you sort out all the problems :) On the
                  > other hand, I sorta like the residual flavour that the pot still gives.
                  > Life is full of such serious problems. lol blanikdog
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                • Harry
                  ... in the ... dripping out ... added, ... as well. ... will work? ... Correct me if I m wrong, but it looks to me like a glorified Liebig Condenser
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 30, 2005
                    --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Mac McCaskie <mccaskie@k...>
                    wrote:

                    > Harry,
                    > maybe these will help. This would be how it stands if it were all
                    > together. You'll notice some parts are missing. I have designed
                    in the
                    > option to rotate the condenser to point up with condensate
                    dripping out
                    > the end of the Tee instead of the reducers (reducers would be
                    added,
                    > naturall). This would give the option to make it a reflux still
                    as well.
                    >
                    > However, I'm still needing to solve the leak problems.
                    >
                    > http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-004.jpg
                    > http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-005.jpg
                    > http://home.kc.rr.com/mccaskie/Images/condensor-007.jpg
                    >
                    > Have I gone down the wrong path? and should I re-think how this
                    will work?
                    >
                    >
                    > Mac


                    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks to me like a glorified Liebig
                    Condenser configuration. Instead of one central tube, you've opted
                    for several (shotgun concept).

                    As I suspected, you will have alcohol vapour and liquid in contact
                    with ALL your joints. Therefore, the best way to tackle it is to do
                    the internal pipes-to-endplates joints first with a high melting
                    method, such as brazing, or TIG welding using copper wire as a
                    filler. Then use the silver solder on the remaining jointing. That
                    will stop new leaks from appearing if done right, as the silver
                    solder requires less heat and is done last.

                    I don't quite get why you're feeding the coolant into the shell
                    chamber via pipes into the endplates? (or am I off-beam here?).
                    Seems a tad complicated to me. Why not just bore holes top & bottom
                    into the side of the shotgun shell and solder short lengths of 1/2"
                    tube over the holes? Much easier to attach hoses, and no
                    restriction to flow. Also eliminates the complications of the
                    tailpipes being routed somehow through or around the Tee.

                    How had you planned on handling reflux return to the column when you
                    use it in an offset head configuration? i.e. condenser rotated
                    upward?


                    Slainte!
                    regards Harry
                  • Mac McCaskie
                    Harry, Thanks for the replys. Yes, it very well could be a glorified Liebig Condenser, heck I don t know. During my test, the flow of coolant was not a
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 1, 2005
                      Harry,
                      Thanks for the replys.

                      Yes, it very well could be "a glorified Liebig Condenser," heck I don't
                      know.

                      During my test, the flow of coolant was not a problem, but the routing
                      of the tubes was. I like your idea of drilling holes for
                      supply-exhaust. Originally, I figured I'd have to use fittings for
                      that, which interfered with sliding the assembly into the casing since
                      the I.D. of my fittings was less than the tube.

                      I was thinking I'd use some type of simple valve to stop or slow
                      collection and let condensate return to the column for the reflux
                      action. Hadn't really got that far yet. Do you have a good method?

                      Thanks again for the help, I will try again this weekend. In my
                      opinion, the journey is as important as the destination.

                      Mac

                      Harry wrote:
                      <snip>
                      > Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks to me like a glorified Liebig
                      > Condenser configuration. Instead of one central tube, you've opted
                      > for several (shotgun concept).
                      >
                      > As I suspected, you will have alcohol vapour and liquid in contact
                      > with ALL your joints. Therefore, the best way to tackle it is to do
                      > the internal pipes-to-endplates joints first with a high melting
                      > method, such as brazing, or TIG welding using copper wire as a
                      > filler. Then use the silver solder on the remaining jointing. That
                      > will stop new leaks from appearing if done right, as the silver
                      > solder requires less heat and is done last.
                      >
                      > I don't quite get why you're feeding the coolant into the shell
                      > chamber via pipes into the endplates? (or am I off-beam here?).
                      > Seems a tad complicated to me. Why not just bore holes top & bottom
                      > into the side of the shotgun shell and solder short lengths of 1/2"
                      > tube over the holes? Much easier to attach hoses, and no
                      > restriction to flow. Also eliminates the complications of the
                      > tailpipes being routed somehow through or around the Tee.
                      >
                      > How had you planned on handling reflux return to the column when you
                      > use it in an offset head configuration? i.e. condenser rotated
                      > upward?
                      >
                      >
                      > Slainte!
                      > regards Harry
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > New Distillers group archives are at http://archive.nnytech.net/
                      > FAQ and other information available at http://homedistiller.org
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
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